Despite repeated claims by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government that Boko Haram terrorists have been degraded and confined to the northeast alone, recent revelations by some Nigerian state governors give cause for worry.
The immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, had said that the Boko Haram terrorist group had since been defeated but the Nigerian military is now fighting an international criminal gang known as the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP).
He then explained that what is currently playing out in the North-east is the “metamorphosis of ISWAP which is an attempt by a group of international criminal organisations to explore the loopholes created by the breakdown of law and order in some neighbouring countries to perpetrate criminality in the West African sub-region”.
He claimed that Boko Haram had been pursued out of the northeast, adding that the current band of international criminals gangs operating under the guise of ISWAP “will also be chased and hunted down”.
ISWAP is a breakaway faction of Boko Haram, the terror group in Nigeria whose activities have caused over 20,000 deaths since 2009.
Apart from the then army chief, other officials of the Buhari administration have made different claims about the group being ‘defeated’, ‘technically defeated’ or ‘decimated.’
Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed in 2019 said the military has “successfully defeated” Boko Haram insurgents. He said the country is now facing a fresh crisis, which is called a “global insurgency.”